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Administrative Law Human Right
Pages 4 (1004 words)
In this House of Lords decision it was held that a private care home providing care and accommodation for an elderly person under contract with a local authority was not exercising "functions of a public nature" within s 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998…
However, the modern form of the 1948 National Assistance Act made a clear distinction between a local authority with a statutory duty to arrange care and accommodation for those unable to arrange it themselves, and a private company providing services with which the local authority contracted on a commercial basis in order to fulfil its duty to arrange such care and accommodation.The issue in this appeal is whether a care home (such as that run by Southern Cross Healthcare Ltd), when providing accommodation and care to a resident (such as Mrs YL, the appellant), pursuant to arrangements made with a local authority (such as Birmingham City Council) under sections 21 and 26 of the National Assistance Act 1948, is performing "functions of a public nature" for the purposes of section 6(3)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998 and is thus in that respect a "public authority" obliged to act compatibly with Convention rights under section 6(1) of that Act. Sections 21 and 26 of the National Assistance Act 1948 confer statutory powers and impose a statutory duty. The duty is imposed on the relevant local authority. It may be discharged by arranging for the provision of residential care in a home run by itself, or by another local authority, or by a voluntary organisation or by a private provider such as Southern Cross. ...
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